A chill in the air is no excuse not to get out in the countryside. Wrap up warm in some of my favourite kit for fall, including the best waterproof jacket I’ve tested, a gorgeous fluffy gilet to cosy up in and some rather delightful cableknits, plaid shirts and snow boots.
Plus, win a pretty printed rucksack from Animal to cart all your new stuff about in. Happy autumn!
It’s not festival season any more, Toto. Time to chuck your flimsy sundresses and strappy sandals in the back of the cupboard and crack out the big guns – chunky knits, waterproof layers and some rather nice hats – that’ll see you though sub-zero afternoons spent jumping into piles of leaves. If you’re in need of an autumn wardrobe revamp, invest in some of these warm and wonderful bits of kit and you’ll be stomping through wind and snow happily till spring.
First up are your feet. Thick woolly socks are obligatory. Shove them into wellies or stompy leather boots in the day and then toast them by the fire by night – I love these bright hunting socks, £34.99 from Bushwear, which look especially nice worn under cult outdoor brand Sorel’s snow boots (£125) for a flash of tasseled irreverence.
You can never have too many awesome jumpers, fact. As well as picking up a few designed to make you look like a Christmas pudding (thanks Primark), go for an oversized Aran cable-knit jumper in cream. Mine’s a vintage man’s oversized one, with corded elbow patches for extra awesomeness, but Barbour have a similar sweater this season, the Kellas (£119). Layer it over one of Animal’s bright tops for a flash of colour – I love this Adeano dreamcatcher print tee (£22) and Mastina feathered top (£30).
KEEP THE RAIN OFF
When you’re venturing out for longer than a quick dash between home and the pub, a lightweight but weather resistant waterproof jacket is the perfect coverup. The absolute best of the best is Adidas’s new Terrex Feather Jacket. It’s not cheap at a hefty £450, but if you’re serious about investing in first-rate protection from the weather, this is the jacket to choose. Deceptively light yet strong and mighty against the elements, the Terrex eats downpours, wind and cold for breakfast thanks to its Gore-Tex shell. The fit is rather slim, so pick a size larger than your usual so that you can fit a jumper underneath, and if the sun does come out, the Terrex will scrunch down really small in your rucksack.
The main reason it’s worth owning one is that you’ll have absolutely no reason not to hike the breadth of Britain/conquer a tricky mountain bike trail/walk the dog in a downpour when you’re clad in such a stunner of a jacket. Wear it with a maroon beanie hat you’ve stolen from a passing fisherman (or, um, purchased from Topman, £10) or on snow days swap it for a cuddly Bushwear tracker hat (£41.99) to keep your precious ears warm.
THE PERFECT GILET
Whilst the British weather tries to figure out what on earth it’s doing, layering up is the easiest way to deal with constantly swinging from a body temperature of the earth’s core/a human icicle. A thick fleece-lined gilet is a brilliant transition piece for autumn and Fat Face’s Amy body warmer (£65) is the best one I’ve come across. Squishy, fur-hooded, stuffed with duck feathers and lined with a sumptuous fleece: I’m slightly obsessed. Wear over a plaid flannel shirt from Uniqlo (£19.90) and everyone will want to give you a hug.
COMPETITION: Win this gorgeous Animal Alaone rucksack!
Why have a handbag when you can cart about a bright and beautiful Alaone backpack from Animal this season?
If you fancy taking this floral beauty on your next mushrooming expedition, just comment on this post and tell me what your winter wardrobe essential is. This competition is closed and the winner is Debbie B. Congratulations Debbie!
NEW SEASON, NEW WHEELS
Thinking of investing in a car for all your upcoming winter shenanigans? The Mercedes MPV is the perfect vehicle to load up with bikes, bags and friends and head off for an adventure. Once the nights start to draw in and general dampness prevails it’s even more important to take advantage of precious daylight and the Mercedes B Class, with its marvellous aerodynamics and safety technology, is the perfect car to explore the countryside in.